The Porterville Recorder, Calif., Rick Elkins column
Apr 12, 2012 (The Porterville Recorder - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
If you ask my wife, she will tell you I am rarely at a loss of words. I comment or joke almost about everything. I am not one who needs to get in the last word, but I definitely get in a word.
That is why this column seems kind of odd to me. I really don't have a topic or a lot to write about. I guess, for one of the few times in my life, I'm at a loss for words.
Well, that is not good because I believe in consistency and writing a column every week -- every Thursday -- is something I need to do.
There are several things I can comment about, but developing an entire column about any of them is a stretch.
One thing that comes to mind is a comment made by a member of this community that this is election season, or silly season. Candidates, supporters of candidates and those who aren't even candidates, then to do and say things that just seem silly right now.
I have already seen a good share of that here in Porterville where 11 candidates are all vying for the attention of voters in the Porterville City Council race. Now, the really silly stuff has not begun, but my experience tells me it will.
There have been a few indications silly season is just around the corner. One candidate has posted a lot of comments on his website and several candidates are using The Recorder's Facebook page to let their views be known.
We at The Recorder will do all we can to educate readers on the candidates and the issues. We have already run a brief personal profile of each candidate and have sent them five questions to which they have been asked to respond with an answer. We will begin to run those on April 28, running one question and the answers from those candidates who respond, every Saturday through May 26.
A challenge with this local city council race is there are 11 candidates. Getting into long answers with each is just to space consuming, so we are asking the candidates to be brief in their responses. The candidates will probably face the same constraints at candidate forums where having 11 people answering a question and taking forever to do so, would greatly limit the number of questions that can be asked.
I also have to comment on one of those short videos making the Internet these days. Those that have an Apple iPhone (I don't yet) will somewhat understand what I am talking about, but for those that don't, the iPhone responds in voice to questions you may have. You can ask where's the best price for gas in town, or for directions, and you'll actually get a voice to respond.
The video is of a man with a thick accent. He is seen in the video ordering what sounds like lunch using his iPhone, but boy, is he hard to understand. The phone voice calmly responds to him, but definitely did not understand him and asks him if she heard him correctly, which she didn't. Now, he is frustrated and yells into the phone, repeating his order for lunch, but with his frustration, he is even harder to understand. Again, the voice does not understand. Well, you get the picture as the man becomes so frustrated, that after the third time the phone voice doesn't understand, he throws his phone against the wall.
Technology. You've got to love it, but it can also be frustrating and, at times, can give us something to laugh at. Let's hope the silliness of the city council race does not become a laughing matter.
I guess my wife is correct. I was not so much at a loss of words, after all.
Rick Elkins is editor of the Porterville Recorder. He can be reached at 784-5000, ext. 1040, or by e-mail at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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